If you fancy changing up your look, dyeing your hair a different colour is an easy way to do it. Or, perhaps you’ve seen a few streaks of grey appearing which you’d rather weren’t there. There are many reasons why you might want to dye your hair, but unfortunately it’s not always as easy as picking a colour when you suffer from migraines; there are other things to consider.
If you’re one of the many migraine sufferers for whom strong smells are a migraine trigger, then dyeing your hair is potentially a big problem. Many hair dyes come with a strong chemical smell, which can’t be counteracted even if you dye your hair in a large, well-ventilated room where all the windows are open.
If this is the case for you, but you’d still like to dye your hair, then opting for hair dyes which are scent-free and made from organic ingredients is your best bet. This isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be able to dye your hair without triggering a migraine, but it’s one thing you can do to try and reduce the likelihood.
It’s not just the smell of the hair dye which can trigger a migraine though. The process of pulling the dye through your hair can put strain on your hair, and in turn put stress on the scalp. This is especially true of applying all-over hair colour – where the hair has to be pulled taught in order to apply it to the roots. This pulling can be an added migraine trigger, alongside the stress your hair and scalp may be under while it’s twisted up as the dye takes its time to develop.
If you’re looking to dye your hair, but are worried about the migraine risk, then these tips may help you to do so with a smaller risk of triggering an attack:
- If you’re dyeing at home, may sure that all the windows are open and the air is moving. Setting up a fan to help with the flow may help.
- If you’re going to a salon to get your hair dyed, tell your stylist about your migraines before you go. This way they can help you to pick a time when the salon will be quieter (the fewer noisy hairdryers going the better!) and they may be able to do other things to help, such as turn the music down, and be extra gentle with your hair and scalp.
- Remember to drink regularly throughout the process, and to eat something before you start. Dyeing hair is a long process, and low blood sugar and dehydration are two extra migraine triggers that you’ll want to, and can, avoid.
- Consider your options – you may be able to have an all-over bleach-free dye applied without triggering a migraine attack, whereas a style involving multiple colours, bleaching and highlights may be too much for your body to tolerate.